Thelma, Louise and Louise!

March 30, 2012

Leaving this morning on a road trip with the other Sandra and our friend Marilyn.

So, for several reasons, that title may be a little inaccurate and misleading.  First of all, it really should read, Marilyn, Sandra and Sandra!  But also, the theme of our trip will be just a little tamer.  We’re going to sightsee, have dinner with a couple nieces, and just enjoy a new experience — all legal!

Oh and by the way, if we see a guy who looks like Brad Pitt hitchhiking, I promise we won’t pick him up!

If there’s room for my computer in the car, I’ll post along the way.  Otherwise, I’ll tell you some funny trip stories when we get back next Wednesday.

Oh, one more difference from the movie … we’re driving a sensible sedan, not a convertible.

See you soon … we’ll talk.

I don’t know which I like more — chocolate or sparkle!

March 28, 2012

I did a couple of fun things last week that I thought you might like to see.

I baked the always delicious fudge sheet cake for a dinner that was organized by Sue, who also just happened to be having a birthday that day.  Her husband called to say that he had planned on taking a birthday cake to the dinner  but since I was bringing a cake he wasn’t sure whether his cake would be too much.  I suggested a solution — I would write happy birthday on the cake I was taking.  He like that idea.

Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my mother’s ability to write on cakes.  Have you ever tried it?  I find it really hard.  But since I last tried it years ago, because of my cake ball obsession a few years ago, I’ve become familiar with candy melts which are melted and then used for dipping and decorating cake balls.  So, I had a brilliant idea!  I’d see if I could make the lettering out of the candy coating on wax paper first and then put them on the cake!

It worked!  Sooooo much easier than trying to use icing to write the words directly on the cake.  As you can see, I make kind of a shaky “y” in Happy, so I just made another one.

It worked so well I also made some dots to fill in around the words.

And, as a last touch, I sprinkled a little sparkly pink edible confetti on the letters just to make them stand out more.

I was happy with how the cake turned out and so was Sue.

And speaking of sparkly, I am responsible for making favors for a spring banquet at church in a few weeks.  I’m going to make the pretzel candies and crock pot chocolate covered peanuts (you can find the recipes over to the right in my Recipes category if you’re interested)

to put in cute little paper cups I found but, I wanted something to add a little sparkle to the cups too.

So I used foam stickers to make these little tooth pick “flags” to put in each cup.

I hadn’t worked with sparkle glue for a long time, so there was definitely a messy learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, it was fun.

And I was happy with how they turned out.

Happy Spring!

Happy Feet!

March 26, 2012

I didn’t even need new slippers, but when I walked past these little cuties in a store yesterday, I distinctly heard them call my name.  Of course I didn’t want to be rude, so I walked over to get acquainted.  Well, it was love at first sight so I bought them and brought them home with me.

When I put them on this morning and walked into the kitchen, I told Hubby, “Every time I look down at my feet and see these slippers, it makes me happy!”

He laughed.

solutions to three little problems …

March 22, 2012

Problem:  My cereal/chips/cake mixes etc. cabinet sometimes gets too full.

Problem:  The Special K I love is pretty sweet.  Not that I’m complaining, but I like to cut calories any time I can.

Problem:  When I make chex mix, it’s impossible to get just the right amount of the three different chex cereals for the recipe so I always have leftovers.  And I am not fond enough of them to finish them off for my breakfasts.

Aha!  I’ve mixed all the chex cereals in one box and then I’m mixing a half bowl of that mix with a half bowl of my favorite Special K, for my normal bowl of cereal in the morning!

I actually like this combo, so it’s no sacrifice.

Solution:  I’m getting rid of  unused cereal in the cupboard that is just taking up space.

Solution:  My favorite cereal is just a little less sweet this way and I like the crunch the other cereal adds.

Solution:  I’ve found a way to finish off any partial boxes of less popular cereals which end up taking space in the cupboard.

May all your problems today be little ones … and may they all have simple solutions.

Happy Thursday!

Duncan’s Ledger: Pat’s Troubles

March 17, 2012

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, a story about an Irishman with a love for the bottle, which made him a little shortsighted.


Pat’s Troubles


Times were getting hard down in Irishtown

And Pat Malone was pushed for ready cash.

His life insurance spent all his money to a cent

And all of his affairs had gone to smash.

Then his wife spoke up and said: “Now Pat if you was dead,

This twenty thousand dollars we could take”.

Then old Pat layed down and tried to make out that he had died,

Until he smelled the whiskey at the wake.


Then Pat Malone forgot that he was dead,

And he raised up in his bunk and he said;

“If this thing holds on a minute, the corpse it will be in it,

You will have to make me drunk to keep me dead.”


Oh, they gave the corpse a sup,

In other words they filled him up,

And they laid him in the coffin with a prayer;

And the driver of the cast

Says, “bedad I’ll never start

Until I see that someone pays the fare.”


Then Pat Malone forgot that he was dead,

And raised up in his coffin and he said:

“You dare to doubt my credit, you’ll be sorry that you said it,

Drive on, or else the corpse will break your head.”


Then the driver, he pulled out on the cemetery route,

And the neighbors tried the widow to console;

They arrived face to face with Malone’s last resting place,

And they quickly shoved old Patrick in the hole.

Then Pat began to see as plain as one, two, three,

Where he had failed to reckon on the end;

When the clods began to drop, Pat kicked off the coffin top,

And quickly to the earth he did ascend.


Then Pat Malone forgot that he was dead,

As he quickly from the cemetery fled,

And its well he did by thunder, for he came darn near going under,

Pat Malone was only playing off for dead.



Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

a temporary treat …

March 15, 2012

Is it obvious what this is?  (btw, the spoon is a large serving spoon, for perspective)  I think it looks like the largest pearl tapioca I’ve ever seen or maybe albino caviar on steroids!

But it’s neither … it’s hail that I really took a close look at when it fell last week.  And I was totally charmed by the small perfect pellets.

I’m reminded that it’s always interesting when I take the time to “smell the roses” … or in this case, “study the hail”.

Duncan’s Ledger: A Proposal

March 8, 2012

My grandfather’s ledger, begun when he was a cowboy in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, has many, many poems and song lyrics written in it.

Recently a person contacted me about a poem I had previously published from Duncan’s Ledger and asked if the ledger had any dates.  I looked through it and couldn’t find even one and responded to that person’s e-mail with that result.

But I have finally found one dated entry:

That doesn’t really tell me anything different than the information I already had, but it was interesting to see.

This search has re-kindled my interest in reading the ledger and sharing some entries.  Here’s a short one (those are rare!) that I thought was interesting:

(click on the image  to enlarge)


If you are, like myself, of the opinion that

an unmarried person is like a half of a

pair of scissors, lacking the other half, I

have the honor to put myself at your complete

disposition, in order that we may cut out

the fabric of life together.

Not exactly a proposal you might hear today, but I find it very charming and elegant.  I wonder if it worked!

I’m (k)not quilting, and loving it!

March 5, 2012

Remember when I joined the quilting circle at church?  I hadn’t quilted in many years, but assumed I could pretty easily pick it up again.  Wellll, it wasn’t easy to get back on that “bike”, and besides, the quilting circle quilts for people who have pieced (generally very beautiful) quilts, but don’t have the time or patience to do the quilting themselves.  So, not only was I in a re-learning mode as I tried to make tiny, even stitches, but I was doing my learning on a quilt that someone was paying to have quilted!  That just didn’t seem fair to those people, so I told the quilting circle that I really enjoyed their company (which I did — they were so friendly and supportive of my efforts), but I was dropping out.  They were gracious about it, but they understood and I’m sure agreed with my reasoning.

So, about a month ago, one of the ladies from that circle asked me why I didn’t join the “Not Quilters Circle”.  I immediately asked her if that was a support group for those who have found out they can NOT quilt!  She assured me that that wasn’t it. It was a KNOT quilting circle, i.e., they quilt by tying knots!

That sounded perfect to me!  So I’ve joined the Knot Quilting Circle and have found my quilting “home”.  We meet twice a month during the winter for three hours.  There are usually four or five tables with four women working at each and each table completes the knotting of between three and five quilts in that time.

It is so much fun to see the quilts that members of the group have pieced together just for this purpose.

We are very fortunate that the local Holiday Inn supplies us with the sheets that they are required to replace frequently (I’m told the chain requires each hotel to replace all their sheets regularly so that guests are always sleeping on fairly new sheets.)

There are three layers — the pieced top, the sheet lining and another fabric for the backing.

The ladies who are very experienced at this, bring their own pair of pliers to help them get the big needles needed for the thick yarn through the three layers of fabric.

Then someone else follows along behind and cuts the yarn between the stitches and then ties a knot at each stitch.  That’s what I do so far.

By the end of the three hours, there are an impressive number of knotted quilts that are then ready for members to take home to bind the edges.  That is the finishing touch.

In a church service in May the quilts will be displayed on the ends of the pews.  And during the service they will be dedicated to God’s work in the world.  After that they are sent anywhere blankets are needed.

What a wonderful ministry!  I am very humbled to now be a part of it.

And may I just say, Wahoo!  I’m no longer NOT a quilter, because now I’m a KNOT quilter!  God has a place for all our “talents” we just have to look until we find them.

Truly, what were they thinking?

March 3, 2012

There has been a rash of robberies of drug stores in our area.

So, someone in a position of authority with one chain of drug stores passed down instructions for a way to solve the problem:

From now on, an employee would stand at the door and greet customers as they walked in.  And if someone was wearing a hood they would ask the person to take it off.

The woman who was telling me this works at one of these drug stores and is about my age.  She would have to take her turn during her shift as the “greeter”.  She was dismayed, and I don’t blame her.

Let’s think about how this would work.  A drug-addled young man might be in a withdrawal frenzy, desperately in need of a “fix”.  But he has no money, so he goes to a drug store to do anything he has to to get some drugs.  Just before he walks into the store, he remembers to put up his hood in hopes that he won’t be recognizable on the surveillance cameras.

But when he walks in the door he is immediately confronted by an “old lady” who tells him to take off his hood.

So, how do you think this scenario would play out?

I hope that he would just turn around and leave.  But, depending on how high he is, this could be very dangerous for the person who confronted him as well as anyone else around, especially if he is carrying a gun.

But, luckily, this plan of action didn’t last very long.  So many of the employees rebelled at being put in this position that the management backed down from the plan.

I also wonder if some of the managers might have taken their turn at the door and maybe that made them realize what a vulnerable position the “greeter” was being put in.

I sympathize with the managers who are trying to figure out ways to thwart robbers, but I don’t think this particular plan was well thought out.

The plan reminds me of one of my favorite sayings:  “Nothing’s impossible if you don’t have to do it yourself.”